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Expatriate children tend to go to the international and English Schools Foundation (ESF) schools, which are generally of a very high standard. Your childs' classmates will be of diverse nationalities and backgrounds, and the experience will be an education in and of itself. You may choose to send your child to any number of different schooling systems in Hong Kong, from the American to the French, German and English systems.

The English Schools Foundation run numerous schools on the Island and in Kowloon that follow the English system of education. If you choose to send your child to one of these schools, the area in which you live will dictate which of the schools your child can be accepted into. If you are outside a particular school's catchment area, your child will not gain admittance there.
The International schools are not restricted by catchment areas, and your child's acceptance into a school will not be affected by where you live. Every residential area will be serviced by a school bus which will pick your child up in the morning and drop them off in the afternoon. The average cost of two-way bus service is HK$ 3,000 per term.

We highly recommend looking into schooling before you arrive in Hong Kong and registering your child at the particular schools of your choice as soon as possible, as waiting lists do exist and can be long. Do not be discouraged if your child is number 25 on the list. You will generally find that places open up towards the summer as children are accepted and parents make definitive decisions, thus freeing up places on various waiting lists

There may also be other procedures, such as an interview and/or exam your child must undergo in order to be admitted. Contact the individual schools for their particular requirements.

Your HK work permit is a factor in the process, as well. International Schools will allow you to put your child's name on the waiting list even before you apply for a work permit
. The ESF schools, on the otherhand, require proof that your work permit application has been submitted to immigration before your child can be placed on the waiting list.

Compass Real Estate can help you with the process of finding a school, pre-registering and setting up interview appointments.

International Schools

International schools in Hong Kong are academically highly regarded, and further offer great facilities and extra-curricular opportunities for your child. School fees are expensive, and often international schools require that you purchase a debenture upon the child's acceptance to the school. The debenture secures the child's place and funds the schools maintenance and running expenses. The debenture, but not the interest on the investment, is reimbursed after the child leaves the school. The German Swiss International School is pictured left.



Comparison of School Systems

Compliments of GSIS


Special Needs Education
Contact our eductation expert, at for further information on Special Needs Education programmes and assistance available in Hong Kong.


Last Updated: 28 May, 2005


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